Way too little, way too late for hormone replacement therapy

Your team has had a dismal day and is losing by 50 points. With the stands nearly empty and just six seconds to play, one of your guys scores a touchdown.


Kind of sad, hardly anything to celebrate, but at least it’s something.

That’s the image that came to mind when I read about a new study that shows a reduced risk of bowel cancer in women who use synthetic hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

But in this case, it’s not even “at least something.” It’s really nothing.

A quick recap: It’s 2002 and the Women’s Health Initiative comes to a screeching halt years ahead of schedule when WHI officials determine that subjects in the study who are taking the drug are at increased risk of breast cancer, stroke, and heart attack.

Of course, eight years later and synthetic HRT is still on the market, mostly used to treat hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. But these days the general recommendation is that women should take the drug for the shortest time possible to avoid very risky side effects.

The new study, from the University of North Carolina, shows that women who use HRT reduce their risk of one specific type of bowel cancer. More importantly, risk lowers when the drug is used over long periods.

So to cut your risk of just this one type of cancer by one- quarter, you’d need to take the drug for four years. But to cut risk by two-thirds, you’d have to take it for 15 years.

Um… Yay?

Will someone please just put synthetic HRT out of its misery already? Stop the absurd studies, get this dangerous stuff off the market, and be DONE with it!

The time is seriously past due.

To Your Good Health,

Jenny Thompson


“New Study Confirms HRT Helps Ward off Colon Cancer” Reuters Health, 4/19/10, reutershealth.com